Acts – For my house will be called a house of prayer for all people.

121.

How can it be a house of prayer for all people when Israel had exclusive right to it. They based this right on their worthiness. Gentiles could never be worthy enough to use this place of worship. But in Isaiah 56:6 in the middle verses of this chapter it tells us: “Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keep the sabbath from polluting it, and take hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” Now that is plain. It does not speak in riddles, and when connected to the Acts, the message is clear for all to see, even Israel. We can say: The Acts deals with the victory of the Truth of God over those who would steal the truth from God. They were prevented at every turn. The house of prayer existed until 70 AD and then was destroyed, to make the point that it is not only for Israel but all the world.

The cover image is of those who cast their books of idols in the fire.
they cast their books away.

John – He will have mercy on him, and to our God for he will abundantly pardon.

120.

The eight signs of John detail God’s complaint against Israel. Even so, “if the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and return to The Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” This quote is from the middle verse of Isaiah 55 and allows us to conclude, God can forgive those who slew his son. That involves a huge pardon. But God is able to do this. The eight signs of John are quite staggering. How could Israel let it get so bad? Why would God pardon so mercifully? The answer is: because this is who the God of Israel is. If we listen to Israel we would not conclude that this is the God of Israel, because they see him as an angry God who will not yield. They did not know him. And they do not know him today.

The cover image shows a judge who wants to issue a pardon.
This is a judge who has a pleasant surprise for the accused.

Joshua – So have I sworn that I will not be wroth with you nor rebuke you.

119.

It is just like the waters of Noah to God. There was no point to be made in doing it again, because it will not change a thing. It is the same with Israel the nation. To rebuke them would not mean anything, because they would not understand. However the barren wife had reason to rejoice for from the Gentiles will come so many children the family will grow beyond all they could desire. Taking the land off those who dwelt there was about the survival of future generations. It was about the children. God gave them the land so they could grow as a populous people. Many things stunted their growth mainly conflict in the land. It took their young men and left many widows. But with Gentiles taking up positions as the sons of God the community growth was huge. So the children of those who could not bear were more than the children of the married wife. And no weapon formed against them would prosper. They will survive, and so they have.

the cover image shows a man swearing an oath to keep his word.
God has sworn to Jacob, It is about the children, the next generation,

Mark – The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53 is the classic text for the role of Messiah. Mark’s record details the suffering servant of God. Any wonder that all verses of both places tell us of Messiah and his work. The reason he did not open his mouth is: there was nothing he could say that would be heard. The seventy judges in Israel who passed sentence were not listening, they were too busy suborning witnesses to falsely accuse him. Justice was missing in the trial, and every mouth was stopped, and the whole world became guilty before God. They were the ones who could not open their mouth. They all agreed there was nothing they could say to make this right.

The cover image shows an oxen going about the chores of the day.
The willing servant.

Matthew – The watchman will lift up the voice.

117.

When a watchman lifts up his voice he has something to announce that everyone needs to hear. This is the case in Matthew. He was announcing the arrival of Messiah. He was telling of bringing again Zion. The focus of all prophecy is on this event. He had a job to do and it involved watching and telling of the arrival. Like announcing the arrival of the king of Jerusalem. The first verse of Isaiah 52 reads: “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” It is a celebration. The time has come to tell of the new Jerusalem. It is to be the capital of the world. If we say we do not think it is the appropriate place for this we need to take it up with God, because he thinks it is the city of the Great King.

The cover image shows guards at Windsor castle
They are there to announce and protect the king.

Romans – You forget the Lord your maker.

116.

Many that Paul spoke to here abandoned God because they did not want him. He restricted their movements too much. They do not fear God, but they fear men. Another persons opinion of them is more important than God’s opinion of them, and so they make out they have no time for God and the need to believe. This is not “Me” centric enough for them, so they just abandon God. At the same time they abandon truth and logic, the future and the past. They claim to have other things to worry about, more important things, or more immediate things. They do not claim to be right in everything they know and think, but right enough to know more than almost everyone else. These are arrogant people who deny everything that is true.

The argument they put for this view of the world is feeble. It is an illusion and amounts to belief in something that does not exist. It is just an argument for the sake of arguing. Where is the fury of the oppressor? This is the way it is put in verse 13 of Isaiah 51. Where is the evidence for the claim. It does not exist.

The cover image show a DNA strand. This did not just appear.
With what we know now, how can we deny God?

Malachi – I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that pluck off the hair.

115.

Everyone applies these words to Messiah, because this is what they did to him. Have you ever wondered why they did this to him. It was because he was wrong and they were right and he refused to listen to them. In relation to Messiah we know they were wrong and he was right. So why were they so angry at him. To turn a persons face by grabbing hold of his beard, so he is looking straight into your eyes means you are making a point and you want him to be focused on what you are saying. To beat his back you are trying to make him surrender to your way of looking at things. Have we ever encountered people who are so angry they behave like this. It is usually because they are wrong and they know it. But they are not the sort of people who allow being wrong to interfere with what they want. The subject of Malachi the prophet is: “take heed to your spirit” examine why it is that you need to get as angry as you are. Is it just because you want to change this persons opinion? or is it because you are such a flawed character you must win the argument right or wrong. We must get this one sorted out.

The cover image is of an angry man.
He looks as if he has good reason to be angry.

1st Samuel – Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break into singing, O mountains.

114.

The heavens and earth and mountains covers all men alive. Why do they burst forth into song? You do not sing with a heavy heart unless you are singing the Blues. 1st Samuel is not about singing the Blues. This is rapturous and blissful song. This is joy and gladness. It is because a change is coming, and it will comfort all God’s people.

You can claim that 1st Samuel is about the story of Samuel, but that is nothing to write home about. We only make this claim because we do not know what 1st Samuel is really about. If this is true, then we need to take this journey. Notice the lady on the cover of this book is playing a joyful song, because this is what 1st Samuel is. I cannot say any more at this stage, just read the book.

The cover image is of a lady playing sweet music.
This is a prophetic parable

Ezra – How shall my name be polluted? I will not give my glory to another.

113.

Take the last book as a case in point. The daughter of Babylon and the three friends of Job polluter God’s name and stole God’s glory by claiming he dealt with men one way, when he does not do this at all. Ezra is a book that refuses to deny God when men behave badly. Ezra will not stand for it. If the Jews in Jerusalem want to deny God in their behaviour then there will be consequences for them but not the retribution imagined by the three friends. They will suffer calamity as a result of the evil steps they have taken, and not by the intervention of God.

We need to get this clear in our mind or we will never know what is true and what is false. Just realize that God is God and he is not fooled by man’s cunning moves and evil plots. If you are going to mention God in your dealings they must be true and they must be righteous, because this is what God is. It cannot be slick and corrupt or deny what he commands. The last verse of this chapter sums the matter up. “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.”

The cover image is of a tranquel forest. I know that I will never see a poem loverly as a tree.
In this book we are in awe of God and his deliverance.

Job – I will not sit as a widow, neither know the loss of children.

112.

We must ask: what could this statement mean? She claims she will never lose her husband, nor suffer the grief of losing one of her children. And the reason she can make this claim is she believes God would never allow it to happen. This is the middle verse of Isaiah chapter 47 which refers to the book of Job. Job lost his wife when he was stricken with leprosy, and his children in an accident that was caused by a great wind that collapsed his eldest sons house. It is clear to all who read the record, that God was the one who made this happen. This lady, called the daughter of Babylon, claims God would never let it happen to her. Job’s three friends made the same claim, and insisted Job must have done something terribly wrong to have brought it on himself. The debate ensues and over the course of three rounds of argument the friends fall silent and Elihu speaks, and then God enters the arena to resolve the matter. Job is vindicated and restored and the three friends condemned by God, for Job was right and the three friends wrong about how God deals with us. The daughter of Babylon is wrong as well, for she is not protected from calamity because of her good standing before God. And God does not cause affliction because a person does something wrong to deserve suffering.

This is the most profound exposition of the way God does deal with men and is a “must read” for anyone wanting to know what is true.

The cover image shows a lady comfortable in her religion.
Nobody knows why this image is used here. We need to know why.